To finish out the Academic Challenge competition schedule, students in 6th through 8th grade competed in Academic Challenge meets this past week. Students compete as teams, answering questions about a wide range of topics including literature, fine arts, geography, history, math, and science.
On May 11th, 6th grade teams competed. Thirteen teams from Col. Crawford, Crestview, Lexington, Northmor, Mansfield’s Spanish Immersion, and Wooster participated. Wooster’s A team with Tim Michel, Nick Kakanuru, Jill Hostetler, Olivia Kelly won the meet. The 2nd place team was Crestview’s A team made up of Hudson Stacy, Drew Ramsey, Jess Ames and Wyatt Love.
Then, on May 12th, twenty-two teams from Ashland, Colonel Crawford, Crestview, Lexington, Madison, Mansfield Middle, Northmor, Ontario, Plymouth-Shiloh, Mansfield City’s Spanish Immersion, Shelby and Wooster participated in the 7/8th Grade Academic Challenge. Wooster’s team of Luci Dean, Braelynn Sexton, Carson Piermarini, Brooklyn Chelakadan, and Aaron Vandegrift emerged victorious. Mansfield’s Spanish Immersion A team with Brayden Wendling, Cameron Arbaugh, Makayla Oswalt, Emma Kline and Caden Merrell placed 2nd.
Leanna Ferreira, Mid-Ohio ESC’s coordinator for Academic Challenge, congratulated all who participated. “Students and coaches alike finished strong this year. I am so grateful for their time and effort in preparing for this event. One of our coaches told me they were so grateful just to be able to compete this year with everything going on. It helped make things feel a bit more normal despite all that has happened. While everyone has done an amazing job of adapting to the virtual academic challenge tournaments, I think we are all hoping for a return to an in-person tournament.”
The demand for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) is rising, with projected job growth at 21% through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet a shortage of SLPs has put the squeeze on schools and healthcare organizations. In order to mitigate this problem in the local area, Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center has created the Speech Language Pathology Development Program.
This program will encourage interested graduate students to pursue a career in speech language pathology with Mid-Ohio ESC. Successful applicants will have their tuition reimbursed for the duration of the program. In exchange for the applicant’s tuition being reimbursed during graduate school, they agree to work for Mid-Ohio ESC for five years once they become fully licensed.
Candidates must apply and have been accepted to a CAA Speech-Language Pathology Graduate program with an institute of their choosing. They will then have a face-to-face interview with the Student Services Department to ensure a good fit for all. For the 21-22 School Year, MOESC will accept 2 program applicants and will accept 2 program applicants each year as it aligns with district need and attrition rates.
Jennifer Crum, Director of Student Services said, “Our efforts to recruit candidates, especially those who reside within our regional school districts, offer a promising approach to consistently develop a healthy speech language pathology workforce and meet critical shortages within our region.”
For more information, contact Crum at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-774-2507.
The Ohio Department of Education awarded Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center a four-year Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) grant of $1,050,000 to build state-wide models of evidence based practices in literacy for students in Kindergarten – 5th grade at Mansfield City Schools’ Springmill STEM Elementary and Plymouth-Shiloh Elementary. The model sites will concentrate on implementing practices consistent with Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement, a guidance document from the Ohio Department of Education. Throughout the four-year grant cycle, Mid-Ohio is collaborating with the Department and State Support Team 7.
The grant’s goals are based on two fundamental needs: building a school-wide reading model, and instituting grade-level and individual professional development for teachers and administrators founded on the components of the Science of Reading. The work provides for partnerships and collaboration of general and special education practitioners working collectively together to support all learners.
This school year, the CLSD grant Coaches provided thirty-three different training opportunities to support educators’ capacity to provide high-quality instructional literacy plans for all learners, focused on four areas of instructional practice. The Heggerty curriculum teaches students phonemic awareness, the ability to focus on and manipulate sounds in spoken words. Teachers also are learning to use orthographic mapping, the linking of sounds to letters and attaching them to meaning to allow “mapping” them to memory.
In addition, educators at the model sites are using the Acadience Reading Assessment to analyze student data and follow decision-making rules to plan next steps for student growth. To assist struggling readers, the teachers are implementing evidence-based interventions from the CORE Reading Sourcebook. Using these curricular pieces, along with additional professional development, will assist in building a school-wide reading model to sustain the gains in student achievement.
Regina Sackman, principal at Springmill STEM, noted that they have already seen results in her building. “The resources and teacher professional development provided by the CLSD grant have positively impacted student learning. Many teachers have already seen improvement in student reading and writing as a result of the implementation of the Heggerty phonemic awareness program. We are looking forward to continuing improvements as we continue the work of improving student learning through this grant.”
During the 2021 – 2022 school year, the CLSD Coaches will expand their work by connecting with and empowering families and community partners to support the CLSD grant’s literacy initiatives for student growth and achievement. Lisa Cook, the CLSD Director and Literacy Coach, shared her enthusiasm, “I am very excited to lead the work of the CLSD grant. Our vision is to improve outcomes for all learners, thus helping more students master essential reading foundations by reducing the barriers for literacy acquisition. By supporting the buildings’ infrastructures and decision rules as part of the Multi-Tiered System of Supports process, we can prepare all learners to be culturally responsive citizens in their path to college or careers and help to fulfill Ohio’s promise of Each Child, Our Future!”
Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center will be hosting Crisis Prevention Institute, or CPI, training. The initial CPI course will be held May 19th from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., while the refresher CPI training will be held May 13th from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. These are in-person training sessions that will be held at the Mid-Ohio Conference Center, 890 W. 4th Street in Mansfield.
The program is a safe, non-harmful behavior management system designed to help human service professionals provide the best possible Care, Welfare, Safety, and Security of disruptive, assaultive, and out-of-control individuals even during their most violent moments.
Participants in the initial training should wear comfortable clothing and closed toed shoes. During the physical interactions, participants will wash hands, wear nitrile gloves, and remain with the same partner(s) through the duration of the training. You must adhere to COVID-19 guidelines attesting to your wellness, having your temperature checked and wearing a mask. Personal Protective Equipment will be available. In addition to successfully demonstrating the application of physical intervention skills, individuals will be required to pass a post-test prior to being certified. For the initial training, registration is limited to 10 participants for safety.
Physical holds are not practiced by participants in the refresher course but rather reviewed visually through demonstrations by the instructor. Registration for the refresher course is limited to 40 participants, and everyone must follow the same COVID-19 guidelines attesting to your wellness, having your temperature checked and wearing a mask.
Interested participants may sign up at MOESC website, www.moesc.net/register. Client/Member cost for any of the courses is $60.00, while non-client cost is $75.00. Anyone with questions about the training may contact Wendy Harvey at email@example.com.
Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, in partnership with Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development, SPARC Talent Development, and Richland County Job and Family Services, will be hosting a job fair for high school and college students on May 6th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, 890 W. Fourth Street in Mansfield.
Students will find internships, seasonal or summer work, part time, and long term/full time career options. This Job Fair is an opportunity for students to discover what is available to them in Richland County. There will be a wide range of industries represented - from healthcare to construction.
Clint Knight, the Director of Workforce Development at the Richland Area Chamber, said it is important for young people to identify their career and skills interests early, so that they can begin to focus their path. “By getting students into the job market early, they can touch, see, and experience work - and realize that there are necessary skills which make you and your employer successful. Many of those "hard skills" can be learned prior to graduating high school - and that only sets them up for earlier success. It is our responsibility as parents, educators, and employers to help young people learn what they don't want to do - just as much as it is to help them learn what they do want to do. The earlier we help students realize those interests - the better it is for everyone involved.”
Knight said, in planning the event, employer participation has far exceeded his expectations with the event reaching capacity and there are a number of companies on a waiting list. Among the dozens of employers, students will also find opportunities with the Youth and Family Council for their Summer Work program.
He said his expectations for student participation are also high. “My hope is that we see between 250-300 students walk through the doors on May 6th - the opportunities are certainly there. I expect to see over 100 young people achieve some level of employment from this event, and just getting face time with some of these employers could help give a young person a better sense of direction.”
Mid-Ohio ESC Superintendent Kevin D. Kimmel expressed his appreciation to the Chamber and employers for collaborating with Mid-Ohio to make this event possible. “There really is nothing like work experience for a young person. It’s encouraging to see so many employers ready to hire young people and give them their first chances in the workforce.”
Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, in partnership with North Central State College and Pioneer CTC, has been awarded a FAFSA21 Funding Opportunities Grant through the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) as part of the allocation of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funds provided to the state from the US Department of Education as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act"). The award shall be used to support activities related to completing the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) for Ohio high school students.
The award is available for allowable expenses incurred between April 5, 2021 and August 31, 2021 for activities that support those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, be in support of the FAFSA completion initiative, and support, but not supplant, existing FAFSA activities. Expenses will be reimbursed by ODHE after requests are submitted via the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Portal (CCIP). Expenditure and performance reports will be required. Awardees may request to rollover unused funds past August 31 with permission from the ODHE. All funds must be finally obligated by June 30, 2022 and liquidated by September 30, 2022. Mid-Ohio ESC will serve as the fiscal agent for this grant.
The grant includes the hiring of a part-time College Access Coordinator that will coordinate the FAFSA completion efforts with the College Access Coaches, SPARC/Pioneer Career Coaches, and the high school guidance counselors. Retired NCSC advisor Jim Phinney will be serving as the College Access Coordinator for the grant and will serve as the point person. Along with Phinney, Sherri Tinch-Greter from the Crawford Partnership will be serving as the Co-Coordinator for the grant. In addition to the College Access Coordinators, the following College Access Coaches will be supporting the grant as well: Richard Beans, Scott Campo, David Carter, and Pamela Stimpert.
The following districts have agreed to participate in this grant: Crestview Local, Clear Fork Valley Local, Colonel Crawford Local, Crestline Exempted Village, Galion City, GOAL Digital Academy, Lexington Local, Lucas Local, Northmor Local, Pioneer CTC, Plymouth-Shiloh Local, and Willard City.
“Filling out the FAFSA is the most important step in securing money to pay for college,” said Mid-Ohio ESC Superintendent Kevin D. Kimmel. “Having these grant resources to help students, especially those graduating this year, will be a great benefit to them in helping them continue their education.”
The Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center Board of Governors held their monthly meeting on April 21st. Among regular business, Lynn Meister, Director of Teaching and Learning, presented to the Board a briefing on her department.
Meister oversees and provides support for the Teaching and Learning Department, the Gifted Department, the Striving Readers Grant (a four-year project ending this year), the Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant (a four-year project ending in 2024), as well as district service in a number of areas and other Mid-Ohio projects. “It’s a privilege to work at Mid-Ohio ESC and serve with the talented personnel in each department,” said Meister. “Their expertise and commitment to the work is exceptional, and the work being done has truly made a difference for our client districts’ teachers, administrators, students, and parents.”
The Teaching and Learning Team provides customized service to districts in support of their school improvement efforts. Based on district goals and data analysis, the team’s experts provide “boots on the ground” high-quality professional development and ongoing support to raise teachers’ ability to implement an aligned curriculum with evidence-based practices. Designed to be timely and useful, the professional development has immediate application to the classroom.
Meister noted that areas of service include K – 12 Language Arts, K – 12 Mathematics, High-Quality Student Data, and many other topics as requested. All Teaching and Learning assistance is based on Ohio’s Learning Standards, the Science of Reading for ELA, and reflects ODE’s initiatives to ensure alignment to current laws and proven practices. She said the team is currently scheduling district services for the 2021 – 2022 school year.
Meister provided an update to the Board about each of the grants. She said the Striving Readers Grant, under the direction of Dena Kirby, has provided hundreds of professional books and teaching resources, as well as professional learning opportunities for teachers and administrators at Plymouth-Shiloh Local, Highland Local, and Buckeye Central, the participating districts. The Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant focuses on creating model literacy sites throughout Ohio – Mid-Ohio ESC is using the grant money to create sites at Plymouth-Shiloh Elementary School and Mansfield City’s Springmill STEM Elementary School.
During Meister’s presentation, Gifted Consultants Leanna Ferreira, Colleen Haynes, Leah Barger, Sherri Richter, and Jennifer Pennell were recognized for their outstanding work for Mid-Ohio’s districts. The Gifted Department has provided expert, personalized support to their districts, offering a wide variety of services to students, teachers, administrators, and parents, including creating and hosting numerous student events such as Academic Challenge, Spelling Bees, and Artapolooza. Meister praised their work in offering exceptional professional development in the area of gifted education through Google Classrooms, book studies, and district-level sessions, as well as assisting with testing to identify gifted students and support districts in serving identified students according to Ohio’s laws and ODE guidelines.
In response, the Board presented each of the Gifted Consultants a certificate of commendation recognizing them for their exemplary service and meeting the needs of the gifted and talented students in Mid-Ohio’s districts.
The Striving Readers Grant is in a no-cost extension final year. The focus has been on serving the greatest numbers of students living in poverty, students with disabilities, English learners and students identified as having a reading disability. Continued challenges in the remaining consortium districts due to COVID-19 have resulted in the transition from a planned face-to-face Kindergarten Boot Camp to a Virtual Kindergarten Boot Camp.
Local kindergarten educators will work to provide the content of up to 30 specific guided family activities, which will focus on Ohio’s learning standards and outcomes to guide parents and/or caregivers through literacy-rich activities. These activities will have an emphasis on integrated phonemic awareness and other literacy initiatives that have been a part of the past three years of Striving Readers implementation.
Incoming kindergarten students will receive access to these activities as well as a backpack kit that will include printed trade books and educational resources, such as manipulatives for literacy learning and flash cards to support the Heggerty phonemic awareness system districts are using. Activity backpacks will be distributed in various ways in the districts.
Parent materials that support these guided family activities will be available both virtually and on a Google Site, as well as in an abbreviated print form.
The repository of activities will allow for both pre-kindergarten work and during kindergarten reinforcement to ensure that the developed activities become a part of the way districts educate in the future as they continue to guard against the COVID slide in achievement.
Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, in collaboration with Mansfield City Schools, will be holding a 6-week training and certification for Registered Behavior Technicians, starting June 7th. Ang Fetter and Dr. Dahni Reynolds, BCBA, from Mansfield City Schools will be facilitating the training.
Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) is one of the credentials extended by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board to paraprofessionals who execute interventions for promoting socially acceptable behaviors. RBTs are taught the basics of applied behavior analysis to support developmentally disabled individuals, but they must function under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). An RBT can also conduct Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA) and assist with Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) processes (relative to behavior).
Participants will complete 40-hours self-paced online training. They will also take part in one-hour virtual study group weekly for 6-weeks. They must complete a competency assessment, and a four-hour RBT Exam Practice Test before taking the RBT Board Exam. For an extra $35, participants can get credentialed through the Behavior Analysis Certification Board.
Interested people must be at least 18 years of age, pass a background check (paid for by the participant), and have a high school diploma. Registration is limited to 20 participants and ends on April 15th. The cost for individuals from client districts is $500 for the course and $600 for those from non-client districts. Registration is available at www.moesc.net/register. Anyone with questions about the program should contact Jennifer Crum at firstname.lastname@example.org.